Shanghai hosted the first round of the Sino-10s tournament this weekend, and it proved to be a sweltering saturday afternoon. The Harlequins came down ready and waiting with a lot of support and many new faces for the squad. With 8 teams paarticipating in the tournament, it was obvious it was going to be a tough day for competition.
The Quins started the day off against a very physical Suzhou giving the team a big wake up call to start the day. Unfortunately the tight game was lost in the closing 5 minutes by two quick Suzhou tries exploiting space on the wing. With new faces working together in the squad there was just a lapse in communication and judgement that will be worked upon in the upcoming weeks.
Following this was a routine dismissal of the Twin Dragons, the Japanese Expat team based in Shanghai. Although containing hard-working players with a lot of experience, the Twin Dragons could not keep up with the pace and aggression of a Hangzhou team out to prove a point. Hangzhou scrum half , Henry, commanded the inside play and ran in two tries personally with the game finishing 6 tries to 1.
The final game in the group stages was against the experienced Shanghai Silver Dragons. A tiring day for Hangzhou in the intense heat caused a huge lapse of concentration and the game quickly became one sided with Shanghai running in a few tries. Hats off to center Crash (Albright) for scoring a fantastic individual try by dummying one player and stepping two more to put Hangzhou on the scoreboard.
The Harlequins were drawn against Xiamen-10s Winners Nanjing Rockets in the final game of the day which was an intense game especially with the relationship between the two clubs. Some clever back play between new players Obert and Bruno led to Obert running in a brilliant try against tough opposition. Hangzhou rookie Manu won himself Hangzhou man of the tournament with his hard work and focused play showing his improvement over the past season. Eventually through sustaining injuries on the astroturf pitch, Hangzhou lost their momentum and ultimately let the game slip out away from them.
In the end Shanghai Silver Dragons claimed the number 1 spot in their own town with the newly formed Shanghai Dolphins placing second and Suzhou coming in third. Afterwards everyone got their pirate hats on for the pirate themed rugby social at the Camel Sports Bar.
A well fought day with a lot of potential to move on from for the Quins, which will be addressed in training before the upcoming tournament in Wuhan. Once again, thanks for all the supporters who came down to cheer the boys on, and brilliant effort by new players who really showed they are going to upcoming talent for the Hangzhou Harlequins.